The Department of Health announced Friday afternoon that the state’s vaccination rate has hit 79.8, putting Vermont on the verge of lifting all remaining coronavirus restrictions. According to the state, an additional 1,367 Vermonters must get their first doses to hit the 80-percent mark.
A number of walk-in vaccination clinics are now available across the state, including a daily clinic at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, and clinics this weekend at state parks across Vermont. On Saturday, SVMC will will administer COVID vaccines from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the gymnasium on the former Southern Vermont College campus. No reservations are needed.
For an updated list of walk-in clinics, visit https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/getting-covid-19-vaccine.
“Every person we get vaccinated not only puts us closer to our 80 percent goal but also puts us in a better position for the fall when we know cases may rise,” Gov. Phil Scott said in a statement. “The more people vaccinated means even if that occurs, we can continue to see minimal hospitalizations and deaths, keep variants at bay and keep the pandemic phase of COVID in the rearview mirror.”
The vaccination rate is 75.1 percent in Bennington County. Chittenden County has the highest percentage, at 82.4 percent, while Essex County in the Northeast Kingdom continues to lag all other Vermont counties with a rate of 56.7.
To date, Vermont has received 905,700 doses of vaccine, 87.6 percent of which have been administered.
THE DAILY NUMBERS
The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Vermont dropped to seven on Friday, with cases scattered across six of Vermont’s 14 counties. The state’s cumulative total since the start of the pandemic is now 24,320.
Windsor County had two new cases; Chittenden, Essex, Lamoille, Orange and Washington counties had one apiece.
No Vermonters died of COVID-19 over the past day, the health department reported. The state’s death toll stands at 256.
Two Vermonters is hospitalized with the disease, with one in intensive care.
So far, 396,819 people have been tested. The reported statewide seven-day average for positive tests has dipped to .07 percent.
The number of Vermonters reported to have recovered from COVID-19 is now 23,577, an increase of 28 since Thursday.
The statistics supplied by the Vermont Department of Health at midday each day are accurate as of the end of the previous day. The information is preliminary and subject to change.
HALF OF VT.’S COUNTIES NOW LOW-RISK
Bennington County remains in the medium-risk category, as determined by the nonprofit Covid ActNow, and it’s a downgrade to medium-risk for neighboring Windham County, which had been low-risk on Thursday.
The seven-day average of daily new cases per 100,000 residents remains at 2.8 in Bennington County, while the infection rate, up again to 0.93, shows that active cases are continuing to spread at a constant rate. A positive test rate of 0.7 percent indicates widespread testing.
In Windham County, the seven-day average has fallen to 0.6 daily new cases. The county’s infection rate, virtually unchanged at 0.79, shows that COVID-19 on the decrease, and a positive test rate of 0.2 percent shows widespread testing.
Caledonia, Rutland, Grand Isle, Franklin, Lamoille, Washington and Addison counties are considered low-risk, as is neighboring Berkshire County in Massachusetts. The rest of Vermont is rated as medium-risk.
Bennington County has reported nine new cases over the past two weeks. Chittenden County, Vermont’s largest county, has had 19 over the same period.